If you don't know TWRK yet, then you're seriously missing out on some serious dance tracks that make every boy and girl dance their ass off from Miami to LA. Interestingly enough, I managed to sat down with the two producers behind some of 2014's most twerkable tracks, DJ eSenTRIK and DJ Benzi, at this year's HARD Summer Music Festival.
Check out some of the great things TWRK has got to say!
EARMILK: Hey guys! My first question for you two is about your very different styles when working individually. What qualities about each other made you guys want to work together?
DJ Benzi: I'm very unbalanced and ADD and John is very practical, and we balance each other out.
DJ eSenTRIK: I guess music wise, I'd heard his mixtape work... and at the time, well, it still is a huge deal to get on a Benzi mixtape. I come from a remix background so at the time, it was me trying to get on [his] mixtape, and we just sort of worked off of that. It was probably about two years ago and we've been doing work ever since then and here we are I guess.
EM: Making bangers!
EM: In terms of output, you guys are also really fast. You have so many songs, and each of them are consistent, and it would be cool to know the process in creating a remix and how you even decide what songs to remix.
BZ: Originally we would meet once every two weeks or something like that and now it's just a lot of requests and we also seek out stuff... like the "Wiggle" remix, we approached the label to do that one. Once that's done we sort of slide them out, hope for the best.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160756094" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EM: Do you have any favorites over the last six months?
EK: The Trippy Turtle remix is a favorite. It's just very different than what we normally do.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/156714506" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
BZ: Yeah definitely. It's a real song....
EK: A real R&B type song. We had a lot of fun doing that one.
EM: I also wanted to ask you about your studio set up. What are your essentials?
BZ: Ableton, cool edit... No Logic or anything.
EK: Ableton is a lot more straightforward for us, Logic is a bit confusing.
BZ: Cool Edit is great though. It's from the year 2000 and they haven't updated it since the year 2000, and it's only for Windows XP. Old school.
EM: How do you feel about an event like Hard Summer in LA. I always think of this as a little different than the typical rave...
BZ: Festivals can be either horrible or amazing, and this one is really amazing.
EK: We've had our share of weird ass festivals...
BZ: We've sort of realized that at this point, if we're the headliners, it's probably not the biggest festival on Earth... But HARD is on a league on its own, sort of like Ultra and stuff.
EM: Do you think it helps that a DJ is running the event?
BZ: Gary [Richards] definitely knows what a DJ would want and in giving them treatment with dressing rooms and it's all laid out so that nothing frustrates us when we're doing other shitty stuff.
EM: Alright, time to shift gears a bit. Who are your current favorite artists? Who are you guys listening to?
BZ: Chet Faker, Flume, the last HAIM album...
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157068773" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146159376" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EK: I don't know about him, but for me, besides what we usually make, for everyday listening I like to listen to hip hop. Also someone like Flume...
BZ: Yeah... Just put on Flume! You know... it's the usuals.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/66816164" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EM: Cool! Do you guys have anything exciting coming up for the rest of 2014 you can share?
BZ: We've been working forever on an EP, which is going to come out on a big label. We have a big tour with us, Green Lantern, and Sliink. The Trifecta tour, going all over the country. More festivals and that's it... and "Badinga..." is going to resurface as a song with some rappers on it, and it's going to be bigger.
EK: Yeah, push it out there more.... we already have our solid fan base that know it already. The internet kind of took it to where it is now, making memes and vines out of it.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/105121071" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
BZ: Diddy posted it!
EK: Now we're just trying to push it to where it can go.
EM: What about on the other end, major highlights from 2014?
BZ: Hmm... let me think, my memory is... [laughs]
BZ: Yes, Amsterdam!
EK: We had our fair share of twerk contests that happened, while we're playing, which was a little awkward...
EM: If Diplo can do it...
EK: Yeah, and our name is T-W-R-K, it's kind of obvious.
BZ: We did Snowball Fest in Denver.
EM: That's the one with the snow right?
EK: Yeah, but there wasn't any snow when we were there. But everything happens so quickly you know? Every weekend is another event. It's been about a year now.
BZ: I think one thing was with Skrillex on his last tour, The Mothership Tour, he highlighted "Badinga" and made it a huge part of his show, and so he would play "Badinga" and then he would stop it and make it a huge thing, and we would see fan videos and like he's had these visuals with Urkel and Jessie from Saved by the Bell or something like that and they would be dancing to Badinga... so that was a big fun thing. Everyday something new happens.
EM: Is it hard adjusting to that kind of hectic schedule?
EK: It can be a little stressful when you're traveling so much and you're bouncing back and forth between places and dealing with airport security.
BZ: I've been doing this for a while, although on a smaller scale, as DJ Benzi for many years, so I'm kind of a hardened veteran... but that's sort of what we get paid for. This is the fun stuff, we get paid for the shitty flight to get there.
EM: Did you have a shitty flight?
EK: I did. We were delayed for a few hours, and then I sort of had to go around... There was a storm in Virgina or something so we had to go straight there, we had to go straight up to like Canada.
EM: Does traveling hurt your production process at all?
EK: No matter what happens you still got to go and get the work done.
BZ: We're like Britney Spears. You can put us in the same category as Britney Spears or Katy Perry. We just have to put a smile on our faces and put on a show.
EM: My final question is, do you have any advice for somebody that is trying to get into the game?
BZ: I do. The first ten songs you make... don't show them to anybody. Or, I mean, don't put them up on your soundcloud. Then make a soundcloud, and make sure everything you put up is QUALITY. If I find somebody with one song that's great, but eighty other songs that are shit, I skip over them. Somebody that's new but they have three really good songs, send that shit over to EARMILK [DJ Esentrik laughs], and hopefully... you know! These young kids always ask me, and I try to tell them that the cream always rises to the top. If you make something good, eventually people are going to talk about it. And if people aren't talking about it, then keep making more shit. Soundcloud is still the best way [to find new music]... at least until they get bought out, but for now it's the best.
EM: Alright, great. thanks guys!
Special thanks to all of the great people that made this happen. Make sure to check out all of their other fantastic tracks out there via the socials posted below!